There’s no escaping the fact that the name Sequent doesn’t have the same wide reaching recognition as Garmin and Tag Heuer. However, it’s a brand that I’ve actually been following for a while now and had my first opportunity to try the SuperCharger HR 2.1 out over a year ago. This time round I’ve got the latest Sequent Elektron HR 2.2.
For those unfamiliar with Sequent, the entire concept is hybrid watches – essentially smartwatches for people who don’t like smartwatches. Similarly to Frederique Constant’s attempt a few years back, there’s no touch screen, it has an analogue display and automatic winding via a rotor.
That rotor charges a battery which then powers its various smart functions, such as step counting, heart rate and sleep monitoring as well as measuring blood oxygen levels – all of which can be read via the Oxygo app.
The real advantage of the Sequent over the Garmin and Tag Heuer is that you can actually forget that it’s a smartwatch. Tom may have lauded the Garmin’s six day battery life but because of the Elektron’s automatic winding it can go a full year between charges, so long as you wear it regularly.
Just be sure not to lose the charger in the meantime. Additionally, the display is very traditional with central hours and minutes and oval hour markers coated with blue lume. You’ll never have to justify wearing it to anyone.
In fact, the only visual give aways that it’s a smartwatch are the sensor on the caseback, the charging port in the 42mm titanium case, and the retrograde smart scale that occupies the lower portion of the dial.
In regular use that scale provides an indication of how close you are to your daily step goal but in workout mode it shows your heart rate (essentially your own personal rev counter). Activating the different modes requires tapping the crown in the correct sequence, which takes a little bit of practice.
It has to be stated that the overall utility of the watch cannot even begin to compare to a conventional smartwatch. There’s no music, no texting, no adjustable displays and you can’t tell it to track a specific sport beyond the few metrics it has.
And as part of that the app is fairly rudimentary, primarily functioning as a data visualisation service because the watch can’t do that itself.
However, I enjoyed my time with the Sequent Elektron HR 2.2. The TAG Heuer Connected might ‘feel’ like a mechanical watch, this straight up is one.
Plus, it’s a brand worth keeping an eye on. The potential of the technology feels like it hasn’t been fully explored yet and it could have implications for sustainability in smartwatches thanks to the exceptional hybrid winding. On top of that, it’s the most accessible of the trio at CHF 599 (approx. £490).
Price & Specs:
- Model: Sequent Elektron HR 2.2
- Ref:SC2.2-HR-T0-BW-TBB (Deep Black – Black #tide)
SC2.2-HR-T0-BW-RB (Deep Black – Rubber Black)
SC2.2-HR-T0-NASA-TWW (Space – White #tide)
- Case/dial: 42.10mm diameter x 14.2mm height, sapphire glass, SuperLuminova® indexes and hands, open caseback, titanium, matt dial
- Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
- Movement: Calibre SC 2.2, in-house, hybrid automatic
- Power reserve: 18 months in stand-by mode
- Functions: Hours, minutes, activity tracking, workout mode for steps and heart rate (on dial), distance, calories, sleep, blood oxygen and GPS (on Sequent Oxygo app, available on iOS and Android)
- Strap: 22mm textile or rubber
- Price/availability: CHF 599 (approx. £490)